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Archive for the ‘swap’ Category

Since Thanksgiving, we haven’t really had any adventures to speak of, and since I finished my Clapotis, I don’t have any really good knitting news, either. There is the second scarf I made for my Ravelry Scarf Exchange pal, Rae, which was mailed to her over a week ago. I know that she probably received it by now, although she hasn’t emailed to say so.Diagonal Knot Stitch Scarf

Completed and blocked, this is the Diagonal Knot Stitch scarf which I knit out of Malabrigo Merino, colorway Violetas. The pattern really opened up once I blocked it, but I do need to find my iron because I could have done a much better job with it. Once I find it, I will be able to block my Clapotis, and finally be able to wear it, hopefully in time for Christmas. (I don’t know what it is about that project, but I’m itching to make another!)

The second nightmare sock of the pair I started eons ago is getting additional rows added to it here and there when I have time at night, which is the only time I get to knit anything anymore. There is just too much to do during a day with homeschooling and housecleaning and cooking and now decorating and Christmas shopping. Phooey! I’d love to just sit and knit all day!

My perfect day would include everyone going out so that I was left alone in the house. The first part of my day alone would beCorey practicing his typing skills. spent in the kitchen dyeing yarn, and the second half of it would be spent in the living room knitting in silence. In fact, that’s not even a day, but about eight hours. Eight hours that I could spend doing the laundry or vacuuming or cleaning the house. Eight hours that I could spend teaching long division to my 6-year-old. Did I mention he’s learning to type, too? In the image at right, he’s practicing his typing skills! πŸ™‚Stitch markers!

Congratulations to my good friend, Anita, who’s handmade polymer clay stitch markers are featured in the current issue of Knit Simple magazine! You can get a set of these adorable stitch markers for yourself by visiting her etsy shop, Yarndemon Designs. I have a set of those sweet peas, and I’ve gotta tell ya, the real thing is soooo much cuter than the images, by FAR. Her shop also features the perfect accessory that every fiber crafter needs: little tape measures with very nice hand-crocheted covers on them. When Anita sent my stitch markers, she also include one of these tape measures which I keep in my little accessory bag and gets frequent use when I’m knitting! Wouldn’t you know it’s that time of year — the season for gift giving, and these stitch markers and tape measures would make PERFECT stocking stuffers!

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Today I received my Ravelry Scarf Exchange package from Emily and I couldn’t be happier with the scarf she made for me — it is really nice! It’s soft and squishy when you bunch it all up and squeeze it… and the color is a beautiful bold green that I just love! She went above and beyond my expectations with all the other little goodies she sent too, and I feel well and truly spoiled.

Ravelry Scarf Exchange goodies

My boys were just as excited as I was that the package came today. In fact, it wasn’t easy to get my youngest to keep his mitts off my stuff! It seemed to be the endless package, as he kept reaching in and pulling items out for me, one after the other!Ravelry Scarf Exchange scarf

Along with that beautiful green scarf that she knit for me was the leftover yarn she had, wound up with the yarn band. She used Brooks Farm Yarn Acero, and I’m going to use the rest of it to make something special. I don’t know what yet, but with the help of Ravelry, I’m sure I’ll figure it out soon!

Some knitting accessories that I will definitely use — sock-shaped point protectors, yarn needles and a cable stitch holder — which are going into my little accessory bag right after I finish this post. A rose, sandalwood, and vanilla-scented glycerin soap and spice-scented fizzing bath bombs are going to drive my DH crazy because he can’t stand scented soaps and candles, but I love them. Therefore, I do believe I’ve figured out that I have a secret weapon if I want to be left alone! LOL! Hmmm, that idea has a lot of potential and I could have a lot of fun with it… I’ll keep you posted! πŸ˜‰

Then Corey saw a CD in the package and snagged it right away and put it in the CD player — Let It Snow by the Chanticleer Holiday Orchestra, which was a very nice surprise! Every year, we get one or two new Christmas music CDs to add to our collection. This year, Corey has been the super Christmas boy, spreading the Christmas cheer since about August when he started playing our Christmas CDs on a daily basis, starting as soon as he woke up, and ending when his dad wanted to watch TV after dinner each night. You can probably imagine that I’m SUPER GRATEFUL that she sent this CD, as we really needed to hear something new. How many times can a person listen to “Christmas is Love” by Alabama, or “Hard Candy Christmas” by Dolly Parton before they lose their mind? Really!

Emily also sent a nice journal that I can use to record knitting notes, a skein of Atacama by Araucania Yarns in this sweet tealy-blue colorway (potentially to be a pair of knucks), and chocolate galore — a bar of milk chocolate, one of dark chocolate, and a peppermint bark white chocolate bar (can’t WAIT to taste this) — and some maple candy which I’ve never had before. Looks yummy… let’s see… YUP! Yummy! And they’re pure sugar! WOOOOOO!!! Wow! I’m going to be wired now!!! I see a long night of speed knitting coming up! πŸ˜‰ Am I supposed to put them in my coffee or something? They’re very potent….

Ravelry Scarf Exchange scarf

Thanks a ton, Emily… you’re an awesome spoiler! I’m wearing the scarf now and my neck is nice and toasty! πŸ™‚

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Yellow leavesWhat a sense of accomplishment! For the past few days, I’ve been knitting on my Clapotis like a maniac, trying to get it completed, and now it’s done! Honestly, I didn’t think it would ever get finished because I have a horrible track record with larger projects. To say I’m pleased with myself is an understatement. Now it just needs to be blocked. Pictures to come when I can get a really good one outside in natural light.

Today I mailed out the angel package to my extra Fall Into Autumn Dishcloth Exchange pal, and sheOrange leaves should get that in a week or so. That’s another swap down! Once I send out the scarf I made for the Ravelry Scarf Exchange (it’s blocking now) and then the final package for my SP11 pal (everything’s ready for it), I’m done with swaps for awhile. There are so many other things I want to knit, and I can’t get to any of it if I’m always making items for swaps, so I’m going to take a break.

Now that the Clapotis is finished, I can concentrate on those nightmare socks I started way back when. The first sock is done, but I might need to reknit the toe, and the second sock has it’s leg, heel flap and heel turn, but the gusset is giving me some problems. Although I have the pattern directions in front of me from “Knitting Socks on Two Circulars” by Cat Bordhi, I am completely lost and can’t figure out what the directions are telling me to do. I may need to enlist the help of my knitting friends in this one. I’m determined to master socks before I start another single project!

Holly

The boys and I went outside last weekend and had a great surprise when we saw that fall had finally snuck in, almost overnight. The fall foliage is so beautiful right now; all I have to do is peek out my front window to see all the pretty colors. πŸ™‚

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Last weekend, I spent a good bit of time dyeing yarn in my kitchen, and I had this great idea — sock sets. Have you ever seen socks that have different-colored toes and heels? I’ve seen a few and I really like the effect, as long as the colors match. So I decided to dye yarn to make a sock set. I’m curious what sort of response these will generate. I’ve only done one set, and they are listed in my Etsy shop for sale as one item.

Sand in my Stitches Kona Sock Set

Sand in my Stitches Kona Sock Set – Indigo and Jewels TooSand in my Stitches Pure Merino DK

Then I found a couple of skeins that I forgot to list that have been done for awhile. After I got off the phone with my DH today, I immediately knew what to name the colorway. At right is Sand in my Stitches Pure Merino DK – Clueless.

Sand in my Stitches Pure Merino DKAt left is the same yarn in the colorway Chartreuse. This yarn is so crazy bright, you may need to wear shades to knit with it, and I love it!

In my stash were a couple of skeins of KnitPicks Simple Stripes, and since I didn’t like the colors of it, I overdyed it and now it’s wonderful. Two skeins makes an average-sized pair of socks, and I’ve got another couple of skeins overdyed in red drying in my bathroom right now. Tomorrow I’m planning on overdyeing the final two skeins in another color.

Sand in My Stitches Sock String

Sand in my Stitches Sock String – Darkness

Sand in my Stitches Baby Sock

This final image is of Sand in my Stitches Baby Sock – Turquoise and Lime.

The base yarn is Dale of Norway Baby Ull and is so very soft; very similar to Sand in my Stitches SoftSock. Of course it would make great adult socks, but it would also make a super baby set — hats, mittens and socks — know anyone who’s expecting? πŸ˜‰

All of these yarns have been listed in my Etsy shop for sale. Now I would like to add a huge thank you to everyone who’s given me the confidence to do this, and to all of you who knit and crochet because I truly am inspired by you. Not a day goes by that I don’t wonder what would make a good yarn and color combination for a certain project or pattern, and if I could make it (which, in turn, keeps me creative), and I really appreciate that!

Knitting-related, I’m working on a secret scarf for a swap. Once I get that secret scarf done, I’m going to (hopefully) knit a pair of mittens for my SP11 pal and then I can ship her final package to her. I’ve never knit mittens before, so we’ll see about that one. And I’ve got everything ready to go into an “angel” package for my second pal in the dishcloth exchange.

Whew! When these three swaps are done, I’m planning on finishing all my WIPs (entrelac scarf, nightmare socks, Clapotis, log cabin baby blanket) and concentrating on mastering the art of knitting socks. Will that day ever come? Only time will tell!

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As a knitter, I love anything that has to do with knitting — knitting needles, knitting patterns, knitting stitch markers, knitting row counters — but I especially love these really cute clay stitch markers that I just received from Anita! Look at these cute little peas!!!

Gifts

Really, the photo I took doesn’t do them justice. You’ll have to see an actual product shot over at Anita’s etsy shop, Yarndemon Designs. She also sent me another lovely pair of beaded stitch markers, and a very cool retractable tape measure which has a crocheted cover on it that fits like a glove! I couldn’t figure out how she did it, so I had to ask, and it’s genius! I never would have thought of it, but it’s perfect for any crafter, and she crochets these in many different color combos. These will be living in my accessory case and I’m going to show them off every time I’m knitting in public, that’s for sure!

Malabrigo worsted in Violetas colorwayBut wait, there’s more! I made an order from WEBS a few days ago and it just came in today. At left is Malabrigo worsted merino in the colorway “Violetas”, which is full of varying shades of purple with some splashes of navy blue. I actually bought this for a particular project, but now I’m not positive what it was pegged for is going to get knitted. Details on this later. For now, it will remain in my stash. If you ever wondered about all the hype concerning this yarn, it really is super soft and squishy, and does not have the least bit of scratchiness to it.SWTC Gianna yarn

And this beautiful, chunky red yarn (SWTC Gianna) came in with the Malabrigo order today, and it’s pegged for a pair of soft mittens for my SP11 pal. Hopefully I’ll get them done, but if not, I will just be sending the yarn, which was on sale, by the way! Free time is rarely found around here, but mittens are smallish, so it shouldn’t take too long to knit them. Once I find a good pattern for them, that is. I want to knit them in the round on circulars, not DPNs. Anyone out there in blogland know of a good pattern?

cupcake charmLast but not least, another little gift came in that I ordered for my SP11 pal, and I just have to show everyone. This necklace charm is from the etsy store, Popalicious, and I’m pretty sure she’s going to like it. The last package I’m sending her is going to be themed around that object which is painted on that charm. (I’m not typing the actual word, in case she does an Internet search for that word and finds me! I must remain anonymous!) πŸ˜‰

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Ballband washclothI know; this is soooo exciting!

Last weekend, there was a call for angels to step in for the Fall Into Autumn Dishcloth Exchange. The exchange deadline has passed, and there were some unlucky souls who didn’t receive anything because their original partners were flakes. So I volunteered. (I’m a pretty quick knitter when I set my mind to it, and I love spoiling people anyway!) And I’m just about done, too! My new pal likes purple, chartreuse and orange, and because I already had purple and orange, I made this ballband washcloth for her from the Mason-Dixon Knitting book, and got it done in a day! Woohoo!

Today is a dyeing day too… I have four skeins of very soft wool that need attention, so I will be making some otherwise bland and boring yarn very colorful and gorgeous. Can you say, “oooooooo… aaaahhhh”? Yeah, like that! πŸ™‚

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I love getting packages!

The mail lady came unusually early today — before 11:00 a.m. — and she had a heavy package for me! From ME! Huh? Yeah! Me (as she originally signed all her messages because this was a secret exchange) sent me a package for the Fall Into Autumn Dishcloth Exchange, and it’s completely wonderful! I was expecting a few things, but she totally spoiled me rotten! And you know what? I deserve to be spoiled rotten once in awhile… yeah! Thanks so much Alexis!

When I get home today, I will take pictures of everything and post a message all about my goodies, but now I have to get ready to go out and run some errands, and mail my own swap packages for my pals. My spoilees for both the dishcloth exchange and SP11 will be getting their packages very soon! πŸ™‚

(7 p.m.: Pictures are UP! Go see!)

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